The vines, owned by Gérard Bertrand, that produced the grapes for this wine are planted in the northern reaches of the Hérault département in Languedoc-Roussillon, near the Causse du Larzac limestone plateau.
This area has its own micro-climate, with substantial temperature variations. Relatively distant from the sea and proximity of the plateau provide freshness to summer nights allowing the grapes to mature slowly and preserve acidity and aromas.
This is a blend of Grenache blanc, Vermentino, and Viognier.
After pressing and clarification of the must, the later is fermented at controlled temperature. Half-way through fermentation, some the must is transferred to mature for 6 months with regular lees stirring into 225-litre oak wine barrels.
This Languedoc white comes in a shiny lemon-yellow color of medium intensity, but some gold hues make it look shiny and bright and suggest there is something going on in this wine beyond just primary fruit.
This impression is confirmed as soon as you put your nose in the wine glass. There’s a wealth of buttery vanilla oak to be smelt at this stage, as the wine is obviously still very young.
But these oak aromas are already well integrated, and leave room for plenty of fruity scents to be expressed as well.
Apricot, ginger, and pomegranate are lively and make the wine feel sunny. Ginger and freshly pressed lemon provide further zesty spiciness.
It’s both delicate, powerfully fruity, oaky but feeling very controlled a nose as well. Quite fascinating indeed to smell!
The control and balance in this wine continues to the palate, where a mineral acidity marries an oily texture and fresh citrus flavors. Rich it does feel like, with plenty of vanilla and buttery oak again, as well as complex sweet spices.
But acidic tropical flavors, combined with the fresh lemon scents make it taste fresh and utterly lively too.
The finish on touches of saltiness and smooth oak tannins, and a delicate oaky smoky bitterness, confirm we are here with not only a vibrant, complex and deep white wine, but one displaying character and expression of its terroir.
A brilliant piece of controlled winemaking, lively fruit character, and expression of its Languedoc terroir, this Château La Sauvageonne Grand Vin Blanc seduces with its nearly-perfect balance in the mouthfeel, and the complex equilibrium in the wide range of flavors it provides.
Young and lively it still is at this stage, but that makes it utterly enjoyable now if you like fresh fruit flavors such as lemon, apricot, and gingery pineapple. You’d have to love some oaky tones in your wine too to love this one now as it is present although very well integrated and never feeling dominant.
But wait for another 3 to 10 years, and the mineral acidity in here promises that this will convert into an expressive and very complex spicy white wine with time, gaining wisdom and developing further depth and complexity.